Darci Hanning

Well, this has been an on-again, off-again side project of mine that is not only “on” now but has officially, well and truly launched:

plone4lib mailing list and plone4lib website

I’d like to thank my partner in crime, Jodi Schneider, for prompting me post-code4lib conference and for her valuable input in creating the site.

So, please, spread the word! All types of librarians/libraries using or interested in Plone are welcome!

And here’s the complete announcement, for the curious:


We’re writing to invite you to get involved with plone4lib. We’re a small online community using the open-source Plone content management system in libraries.

Please visit http://plone4lib.org to read about how libraries around the world are using Plone, or add your own Plone-based library site.
You can also join the plone4lib listserv:


Inspired by a code4lib09 breakout session, and in the model of the drupal4lib community, we seek to share information and ideas about using Plone in libraries. We’re inviting anyone using or interested in using Plone in libraries to join the site and contribute content:

-Add your Plone-based library site to the World map
-Share your “Success Story”
-Introduce yourself on the mailing list, ask questions, and share ideas

We’re also looking for someone to design a banner for the site๐Ÿ™‚ Full credit, etc will be given on the site and in the News section so give it a shot๐Ÿ™‚

Hope you’ll join us!
Darci Hanning, darci.hanning@gmail.com
Jodi Schneider, jschneider@pobox.com

Scott Paley is doing some live blogging of the presentations at the Plone conference over at CMSWire. He’s already posted a fantastic summary of my presentaton, Ten Ways to Engage the Plone Community.

First, thanks Scott, for doing such a great job capturing all the main points and second, thanks to the attendees for a wonderful followup discussion!

Actually, two Plinkit presentations will be happening in Denver next week!

The first presentation will be for the Denver Plone Users Group — here are the details if you’re a Denverite and want to attend. The more the merrier — I always look forward to meeting more Plonistas!

The second presentation will be at the LITA Forum, the annual conference for the Library Information Technology Association of ALA (American Libraries Association). I’ll also be joined by several Plinkit Collaborative members: Sharon Morris of the Colorado State Library, Tine Walczyk from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, and Bev Obert of the Rolling Prairie Library System (Illinois).

I’ve been talking about Plinkit for about a one and a half years now. My audiences have ranged from hardcore library techies (the #code4lib bunch — and my first lightening talk ever) to library staff from small and rural libraries (Plinkit’s “target customer”, if you will, especially in Oregon) to Plone users and developers.

It’s always fun to shape the presentation materials based on the audience. When I’m talking to primarily Plonistas, I spend more time talking about the issues — most people have a vague understanding (at best) of what happens behind the scenes at any given public library. No matter the size of the public library, chances are they could always use more money, more staff, and more skills. Our smallest libraries especially feel the pinch — and the ability to create and maintain well-organized, visually-pleasing website is almost always beyond their reach. And that’s where Plinkit (and Plone) come in.

Our LITA presentation will be a new audience for me. I expect that attendees will be relatively technologically-savvy and have a library background, of course, but may not be aware of just how stretched their small public library colleagues are. So in addition to outlining the issues that we address with Plinkit, I’ll get to put a more technical bent to it all and talk some about the ins and outs of Plone to many who may not be familiar with it.

I’m also looking forward to meeting a few of my Collaborative counterparts — I’ve been talking and emailing with them for more than a year in some cases and to finally meet them and to share horror stories and successes will be a blast, I’m sure!

Both sets of presentation materials will be made available online next week — keep an eye out here and here.

Plinkit uses CalendarX and while I don’t quite yet see the day when Plinkit will be running on Plone 3.0, I do know that we have gotten and will continue to get a lot out of our use of CalendarX.

So I’m here to let you know that a fundable campaign has been setup to assist Lupa Zurven (CalendarX’s primary developer) in making CalendarX Plone 3.0 compatible. While this is not a refactoring effort, I know that there are many fans of CalendarX who will be happy to have working version for the latest release of Plone. In particular, the goals are to:

  1. Make architectural changes so that CalendarX runs on a clean Plone 3.0 install.
  2. Make sure that there are no deprecation warnings put out by a clean Plone 3.0 install upon loading CalendarX.
  3. Update the documentation to be sure that it reflects operation of CalendarX within a clean Plone 3.0 install.

If this campaign goes well, it’s possible that Lupa will consider a second that will work “toward improving CalendarX and delivering the functionality that people have always wanted in a top-notch, flexible Plone-based calendar.”

So if you use CalendarX (or are thinking you would like to), take a few moments to contribute, I already have!

[Questions should be directed to the mailing list]

I know I know, I’ve been pretty quiet around here (but not so much on IRC ;-))

Anyhow, I’m going to make this short and (very) sweet (I hope!) After several months of work, overseen by Jeff Pittman (geojeff) and with the assistance of many many folks (see below) I’m very excited to share that two (yes, two!) new user’s manuals are available from plone.org — one for Plone 2.5 and one for Plone 3.0!

Partial Table of Contents

Both of these manuals have evolved from various sources (including http://learnplone.org/) and contributors: JoAnna Springsteen, Martin Aspeli, Jon Baldivieso, Andrew Burkhalter, Sam Knox, Jon Stahl, Jeff Pittman, Esther Schindler, Rob Stevenson, Veda Williams, Donna Snow (and me). (If I’ve missed anyone, please please let me know!)

As always, the entire documentation team is open to comments and feedback — leave them on the mailing list or at the tracker!

It’s with great pleasure that I can announce the launch of the new Documentation landing page!

In addition to the new layout, the single best improvement is that documentation is now organized by topic, as derived from the huge card sprint completed at the DocSprint at Google last month.

Have feedback or suggestions for improvements? Use the survey link to let the documentation team know about it!

Last but not least, a lot of people put a lot of effort into this and hopefully I won’t forget anyone (apologies in advance if I do!), so here goes, in no particular order:

SteveM, aclark, vedawms, limi, joelburton, ErikRose, geojeff, rstephe, Sam Knox, and jonstahl — congratulations on a job extremely well done!

(Compiled by JoAnna, edited by Darci)

The goal behind holding a documentation sprint was to really dig in and fix up plone.org’s documentation. We have a lot of documents on a lot of topics but it’s a standard complaint that no one can never find anything. After months of reorganizing, talking, and plotting, we decided that our goals for a doc sprint would be to reorganize the plone.org documentation area and deliver the latest release of Plone with up-to-date documentation. As the sprint comes to a close, I’m happy to report we have accomplished our intended goals.

Our team of documentation sprinters in attendance included Aleksander Vladimirskiy, Joel Burton, Steve McMahon, Darci Hanning, Erik Rose, Bob Edmonston, Rob Stephenson, Balazs Ree, Jeff Pittman, Esther Schindler, Nate Aune, JoAnna Springsteen, and Veda Williams, as well as many virtual sprinters. This was possibly the first ever non-virtual documentation sprint. The sprint got off to a fantastic start thanks to all of our wonderful sponsors. Because of their support, we were able to cover a lot of the costs associated with the sprint. Our sponsors helped set a standard of support that I hope only grows from here.

So what exactly did we do while at the “GooglePlex” for a week?

Our biggest task and biggest success was the reorganization and redesign of the front page for plone.org/documentation. Limi joined us for break-out session where it was agreed that we try the card sorting technique to make sense of the 1200 how-tos, tutorials, and manuals currently hosted at plone.org.

Erik Rose and Steve McMahon promptly rose to the challenge and led the way in a massive card sort where we each took turns trying to categorize all the how-tos and tutorials from http://plone.org/documentation. Both Jeff Pittman and Rob Stephenson made major contributions to the process by putting together the initial “clumps”. After three and a half days, we were (and still are!) quite pleased with the categories we came up with.

Veda Williams and Joel Burton collaborated on a new design for http://plone.org/documentation that will be launched soon. Steve and Alex Clark also worked on updating the software for Plone Help Center so that it can support the new design and categorizing of documents based on the final results of the card sort.

On the more “pure” documentation front, Alex Clark, who joined us on Wednesday, took on the challenge of updating the api.plone.org documentation for Plone 2.5.3 with plans to implement the same for Plone 2.1. and Plone 3.0. Steve updated the Archetypes manual as well as worked on a UI tutorial. Alex Vladimirskiy tackled documenting OpenID, the new default roles, and new workflows for the Plone 3.0 release. Bob Edmonston worked on a document that describes how to use macros and metal in plone page templates. Darci Hanning completed the final draft a versioning how-to for Plone 3 as well as provided assistance for plone.org issues and contributed to card sorting. Esther Schindler and Balazs Ree worked on writing up some extremely critical documentation for the KSS product. Joel Burton served as a SME, editor, and cheerleader as well as cranked out a manual on Zope Page Templates. JoAnna worked on a kupu document, contributed to the workflow manual and the doc reorganization. Jeff Pittman and Rob Stephenson began the work of incorporating end user documents from learnplone.org.

These are some substantial contributions to Plone’s documentation offerings that will be visibly noticeable to the Plone community and extremely helpful to those who participate in the IRC chat room. The documentation team sincerely hopes that the efforts from this sprint are helpful to all members of the Plone community.

What’s next?

While we still have a few finishing touches to make, we’re already looking ahead and we want to hear from you — what do you need from your “Plone Documentation” experience? Drop us a line at the Doc Team mailing list and let us know! Better yet, come join us on the “Doc side”!๐Ÿ˜‰


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